In part two of my series on an introduction to nude portraiture I wanted to get another point of view, that of the model. Who else to give advice to photographers than someone who is familiar with the other side of the lens.
I met Miss Justine Mariie in 2011 at a photoshoot in Seattle with a good friend of mine. She was an amazing model, a fun person to work with, and a consummate professional. I interviewed her by email and asked her some questions about photographers and models doing a nude shoot.
Alan: Before the questions about how to act and what to expect on a nude modeling shoot, the first question I think should be, “Should you do a nude modeling shoot?” Assuming that a model has just got a request for this, what should she or he consider before saying yes?
Justine: Usually I consider the photographers work, and usually with nudes, I give them my rates and ask if they’re okay with a chaperone. if they sound uncomfortable with an escort i usually wont shoot… its good to make sure you’re comfortable, so a photographer who cares about that comfort gets my attention before one who seems timid to having someone there to make sure the model is comfy 😉
Alan: Assuming that a photographer has noble intentions and is interested in doing “real” nude photography, what is the best way to set up a shoot with a model?
Justine: Let the model know your availability, i find exact dates wanted to be the best way to make a model feel like you really thought this out… say “I have Saturday the… and tuesday the… available” it makes me able to look at my calendar and see if I’m free to shoot that day. 🙂
Alan: What sort of preparation and information should be provided to the model when they’re contacted?
Justine: I want to know it all, basically the date, time, type of shoot, the hours we’re shooting, confirmation of payment, wardrobe needed, and how you want the models makeup and hair to look 🙂
Alan: What is the optimal “flow” of setting up a shoot? From email to meeting at the door.
Justine: I like to confirm my shoot the day before and make sure i have the address and directions to the studio/house I’m shooting at ready to go. Also, be ready to answer the phone if the model gets lost on the way! Haha!
Alan: Is there any sort of prep that should be done the day of the shoot?
Justine: Clothes to bring of course, make sure you’re ready, test the lights a bit in the setting you’re shooting the model, of course, it won’t be exact, but if you’re paying a model to shoot, you can’t make her wait an extra hour, because you’re still prepping, you’ll of course have to pay her for that extra hour! If you’re ready, the model will feel as though you know what you’re doing and you care about getting it right.
Alan: Should you bring an escort? Is there ever a case when you wouldn’t bring an escort? What sort of instructions should the escort be given about how they act at the shoot? Is a hair / MUA at the shoot a substitute for an escort? [Note: what if a MUA is promised but doesn’t show up? Turn around and walk away?]
Justine: If I haven’t met an artist and they don’t have any of my model friends in their portfolio to reference from, YES. i always bring an escort. Also, if the shoot is far away from home, I bring one. Comfort wise I shoot better knowing I have someone I know. If a MUA is supposed to be provided I bring makeup anyway just incase, things happen. I never walk away. It might just make it awkward for 30 min while you do your own 😛
Alan: How does an optimal shoot go? How can the photographer make the shoot as good (and most comfortable) as possible for the model?
Justine: Quick, good conversation, light mood. 🙂 And MUSIC. so it isn’t too quiet.
Alan: Are you clothed as much as possible or just let things fly? [Note: I’ve seen photographers set it up so the model is robed 99% of the time, and nude for a few seconds for the shot, then robed again, but when you and I and Jim shot you were nude pretty much the whole time]
Justine: depends on the shoot. but if its a nude shoot. I’m naked for the length of the shoot 😛
Alan: What do you find are good shots to do in terms of posing, type of shot?
Justine: Hmm, standing? I’m not sure how to answer that. every shoot is different.
Alan: What are the shots to avoid when shooting with a nude model? IE: handbra, other stereotypical stuff that’s GWC fair? (Guy With Camera. Typically someone more interested in seeing naked women than making art.)
Justine: No crotch shots, bleh. other than that a good handbra is always nice in a shoot thats done well
Alan: What are some “oh no never again” things that you’ve had happen that would make it so you NEVER shoot with the photographer again?
Justine: DO NOT TOUCH THE MODEL
DO NOT ADJUST A MODELS WARDROBE OR HAIR
DO NOT MAKE INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS ON THE MODELS BODY
You can say you are doing great, don’t say “you’re so fucking hot.” Ewww.
Alan: Conversely, what are the “I can’t wait to shoot with him again” things?
Justine: Funny, nice to shoot with, good pictures, if they provide water, or warm heater if its cold during shooting, snacks provided, etc.
Alan: How should a photographer act while shooting? Obviously not leering or being a pervert, but how are they relating to the model? Talking all the time? Lots of fiddling with gear? Saying things like “you look gOOOOregous dahling!”?
Justine: Being silly is my fav, if I’m laughing and being sarcastic I’m happy. 🙂
Alan: Anything else that you think that new-to-nude models or photographers should know about?
Huge thanks to Justine for taking time out of her schedule to answer my questions. Hopefully any photographers or models interested in getting into this type of photography can learn from her experience!